I use to have owned php scripts on a dedicated server by user "webroot".
It would be easier for coding and administration if the scripts were owned by the apache2 user, "www-data" on my system. Also feels more simple and clean.
There is no ftp on this box and there are no other users or sites.
Why not have the php scripts owned by www-data? If there is anything against it, what is the worst that can happen?